FAQs About Dojos, Weatherfishes Systems
Related Articles: Dojo Use
in Ornamental Ponds, Loaches,
A New Look At
Loaches By Neale Monks,
Related FAQs: Dojo/Weatherfishes 1, Dojos/Weatherfishes 2, & FAQs on: Dojos/Weatherfishes Identification, Dojos/Weatherfishes Behavior, Dojos/Weatherfishes Compatibility, Dojos/Weatherfishes Stocking/Selection,
Dojos/Weatherfishes Feeding, Dojos/Weatherfishes Health, Dojos/Weatherfishes Reproduction, &
Loaches 1, Clownloaches, & Loach Identification, Loach Behavior, Loach Compatibility, Loach Selection, Loach Systems, Loach Feeding, Loach Disease, Loach Reproduction,
Weather Loach Subtropical Stocking 12/21/17
Upon further consideration, I've decided to go with a subtropical tank to save
<A good idea, plus opens up some opportunities for species that are rarely kept
properly, so often not seen at their best; Scleromystax barbatus, for example,
the wonderful Bearded Corydoras. Numerous barbs, minnows, catfish
and loaches can work, too.>
For sure, I want a school of weather loaches. What else could fit in a 40 gallon
breeder with a small school of 3 or 4 weather loaches that would fare well at
<Weather-loaches don't compete particularly well with other bottom feeders, but
they're good alongside pretty much any midwater or surface swimming species.
Cyprinids are good defaults, whether danionins, minnows, or if you
can get them, the wonderful Hillstream 'trouts', Barilius spp. Orfe, Roach,
Tench and so on work well too, as do Goldfish, assuming the tank is big enough
for them. The fast-swimming Goldfish such as Comets and Shubunkins
are the obvious picks here, rather than the clunky fancy, fantail-type things.>
I already have a good idea of what fish species do well at those temperatures
due to your site's article on Subtropical fishkeeping, as well as a few others
I've found on the web. I'm more concerned about how much room a school of
weather loaches would leave in a tank of this size.
<How big's the school? A trio is fine, though obviously the more the merrier.>
In terms of other fish I'm interested in, there are several Danio species I'm
considering, such as the Glowlight Danio (not those jellyfish-gene "Glofish",
but Celestichtys choprae), the leopard Danio, the Bengal Danio and the pearl
<All can work, though the smaller species might be viewed as food. The Glowlight
Danios are nice, yes, but they are very small. I've kept them, and I will
observe that the males are pretty feisty, so if you go that route, keep a
fair-sized school to dilute aggression. More than the usual six, I'd say, and
more like 10+ specimens. Still, if you're keeping Weather Loaches, I'd look to
the more medium sized Danio species as better fits; Bengal Danios would be
perfect, enjoying the same coolish temperatures. I'd also look at the fabulous
Rosy Barb, a terribly overlooked species with the
colours of a Goldfish, interesting sexual dimorphism (males are orangey-pink,
females lemony-green). Variatus Platies are another good choice, very colourful
and peaceful, and again, enjoy room temperature rather than tropical tanks, so
often not seen at their best.>
I've also considered Florida Flagfish, Variatus platies and paradise fish as
<Yes, yes, and possibly. Paradisefish inhabit sluggish waters, such as ponds, so
aren't ideal additions to tanks with strong water currents. That said, they're
adaptable, and their aggressiveness has been a bit overstated in the past.>
though, based on my personal experience with other Anabantoids, I suspect even
when paradise fish are kept in a group of 1 male and 2 or 3 females, aggression
depends a great deal on individual temperament.
<Agreed, but does tend to be directed at their own kind; only rarely fish as
dissimilar as loaches.>
I'll also say I'm fairly certain I don't want white cloud mountain minnows, not
because of the fish themselves, but because around here pet stores rarely keep
them in better conditions than so-called feeder goldfish.
Which is sad, but I don't want anything that was kept in those conditions in my
<Understood. Can you get Rosy Minnows locally? They're surprisingly good
aquarium fish, sometimes sold as feeders, but actually pretty little things well
suited to unheated tanks. Quite a few North American fish could work well too,
including Shiners and even the smaller Centrarchids (though these are extremely
predatory by aquarium fish standards, to only with tankmates of similar size).
Re: Weather Loach Subtropical Stocking 12/21/17
Are any of the Barilius species even small enough for a 40 breeder?
<40 US gallons is 33 UK gallons, so no, not big enough for adults. You'd want a
tank at least 120 cm/4 ft in length. Depth relatively unimportant.>
The species profiles I've seen for them indicate that while only 4 or 5 inches
long, they're active enough that they need a considerably larger tank.
I was planning on a school of 3 or 4 weather loaches. Would there be room in my
forty gallon breeder for those, plus a school of either one of the more
medium-sized Danio species or those rosy red minnows and maybe a breeding group
of Variatus platies?
<Rosy Barbs are much less demanding, and would be find in a 40 US gallon system.
They are intensely social though, and like all barbs should be kept in decent
numbers. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Weather Loach Subtropical Stocking 12/22/17
I may have phrased that last question poorly.
<Or maybe I'm just plain dumb.>
I was asking whether a group of 3 or 4 loaches would be good with a school of
Danios or minnows and maybe some platies in the 40 breeder, or if that would be
<3-4 Weather Loaches, plus a school of Danios, would work out just fine in 40 US
gallons. The Platies require slightly more thought, not because they're a
problem, but it's possible the bigger danionins, such as Giant Danios would be
too aggressive at feeding time. The smaller Danio species, as well as Minnows,
should be fine with Platies.>
I wasn't asking about the Barilius, which I doubt I could find for sale locally
even if I did have a big enough tank.
<Ah, understood. They are seasonal, being wild-caught, and only the high-end
shops seem to get them, at least in the UK. The larger Danio and Devario species
are much easier to use/substitute.>
As far as rosy barbs go, just today, I saw something called a 'neon rosy barb'
for sale. Out of curiosity, are those just a color morph of the regular rosy
barb, or a separate species?
<I do believe Neon Rosy Barbs are merely an artificially produced strain of the
Rosy Barb species. A lovely species overall, but slightly nippy, so do be
careful, and keep them well fed and in large groups. Should be fine with
Weather Loaches though. There's another Barb species I didn't mention, Barbodes
semifasciolatus, sold as either an artificial "Golden Barb" or a greenish-pink
wild-type fish. Nice fish, peaceful, colourful, and not too big (2.5 inches,
tops). The golden form looks like a mini Goldfish! It's active, highly sociable,
and generally not too nippy, so again, a good choice for life with loaches and
Danios. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Weather Loach Subtropical Stocking 12/23/17
Thanks! Those Barbodes semifasciolatus are quite beautiful, though I think the
wild-type looks prettier than the golden form.
<So do I. Incidentally, since they're the same species, you can mix 'em.>
If I eliminated the platies, could I keep the loaches plus a school each of one
Danio species and the Barbodes semifasciolatus?
<Sounds great. Barbs and Danios generally mix well. Just keep decent numbers of
both. Going for an East Asian biotope, riverine-sort-of-look might work nicely
here. Water worn cobbles, open sand, some smooth bogwood
bits, and plants such as Ceratophyllum and Vallisneria around the edges for
greenery. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Weather Loach Subtropical Stocking 12/23/17
Again, thanks. How many gallons per hour filtration would you recommend for this
<I'd be looking at around 8-10 times the volume of the tank per hour, which is
about right for active fish that appreciate moderate currents. So for 40 US
gallons, 8 x 40 = 320 gallons per hour, so look for a filter (or two
filters, combined) that offer that sort of turnover rate. A little less isn't a
deal breaker, but I wouldn't go below 6 times the volume of the tank. A little
more would be no problem either, and it quite easy to turn the flow rate down
(or diffuse it with a spray-bar) if the fish seem overwhelmed. You often find as
a filter 'clogs up' with dirt the flow rate drops dramatically anyway. Cheers,
Goldfish and dojo loaches; fdg. and sys.
You guys were so helpful with my dwarf frogs, I thought I'd reach out
and get the best advice on my goldfish and dojo loach tank. I currently
have two small baby fantail goldfish and three small dojo loaches (two
one natural) in a 20 gallon long, but of course I'm looking for a big
upgrade currently which should be done within a week or two as I'm aware
that these guys get big.
I have two questions, first, how can I ensure my loaches are getting fed
properly and enough?
<Just a cursory look/see at their "index of fitness"; roundish-contoured
The goldfish seem to gobble
everything up in seconds, and I don't see much left in the gravel bed.
Also, what substrate will be best for both of these fish to live
<Something larger, flatter in the way of natural gravel... 3/8-1/4" D>
I have a deep sand substrate in my 55 gallon and would like to do
something similar for the loaches, but worry about the goldfish
ingesting sand and becoming impacted.
<You are wise here>
Speaking of deep sand substrates, (This is a very new arrangement for
me) I've got lots of real plants, 5 young angelfish, four Cory cats, two
Bristlenose Plecos, one dwarf Gourami, and one golden wonder killifish,
with a few Nerite snails and ghost shrimp. I've read that the sand
should be stirred to prevent pockets of harmful bacteria, but how can I
do that without disturbing the roots?
<Best to gingerly vacuum about the areas outside of the plants weekly;
perhaps doing one side of the tank at a time. Going forward, even better
to "blind pot" the planted areas>
I'm using CaribSea sunset gold, which is pretty fine, would it compact
too much for plant roots?
<Not too compact>
Sorry for the long list of questions, I'm quite new to this hobby. Thank
you in advance for your consideration.
<A pleasure to share with you, conspire in your success. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish and dojo loaches 6/3/17
Thank you for setting my mind at ease.
When I did the change in my 55 gallon (just yesterday, tank was
established for 3-4 months with coarse black gravel) my striped
angelfish (young superveil) seems to have dimmed his stripes
considerably, as has my glitter angelfish. I'm thinking this is stress
related. I tried to preserve my biological media by floating with
my live plants in a bucket of aquarium water, and all fish were moved to
a holding tank, nonetheless, I know the change was very stressful on
everyone. I kept lights off the rest of the day (also night since it was
late when I finished) and tested everything before re-adding my fish.
I used Prime since I could only re-use about 20 gallons of old water. My
lights have been off most of today as well, but they seem stressed
Is there anything else I can do to help them recover from such trauma?
<Mmm; just time going by really>
I also planned on small water changes daily as I got a very slight
reading of ammonia, really just a barely yellow tint to the test tube,
only noticeable against a pure white windowsill in the sun. Nitrites
were 0. I've got a young rescued angel who had his fins chewed off at
the pet store, I didn't think he'd survive at all but his fins have
really grown in nicely and I'm super attached to him now, really can't
stand to lose him. Thanks again!
Sorry to be a bother.
<Never a bother. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Goldfish and dojo loaches 6/3/17
Should I stir my deep (3 inch) sand? /if so, how often?
<I would use a gravel vacuum.... see the Net re or I can send a link>
And is it safe to not stir near plant roots?
<Already answered; yes. B>
Re: Goldfish and dojo loaches 6/3/17
Thank you, I missed that part of your answer somehow.
<Ahh; no worries. BobF>
Using liquid fertilizers with dojo loaches
I have a question. I have a 20 gallon long tank and have had my two golden Dojos
for a long time. One for two years, one for one year. I recently decided to
change my tank to be planted from the ugly plastic stuff I had before! :) As I
go along, I continue learning about things I need to be doing.
I have a fairly heavily planted tank. I was considering using Seachem
Flourish Comprehensive fertilizer for my plants and wanted to know if this will
hurt my loaches.
<It will not. This, indeed all SeaChem's products are safe to use>
I know they are very fragile in terms of being scaleless and I don't want to do
anything that will harm them.
At the same time, I have a question about filtration in a planted tank.
Right now I have two HOB Aqueon filters, one 20 and one 10. I have no carbon,
only foam and BioMax ceramic rings for biological filtration. The more I read, I
have found that, for planted tanks, less filtration is better. I was considering
removing the Aqueon 10 and just having the 20 on there. Thoughts?
<I like redundancy in filtration, circulation.... Would leave both on here>
Thanks so much!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Weather loaches and Indian almond leaves
I was wondering if weather loaches might benefit from having some Indian almond
leaves in their tank?
<They will be completely indifferent. Add them if you want, or for that matter
Beech leaves collected from somewhere unpolluted, as you prefer/can afford.>
I realize they leach tannins and make the water slightly acidic but from what I
have read about their origins, weather loaches seem to like slow moving areas
where you might find a lot of leaf litter.
Plus, would the leeching from the leaves benefit them in any way?
<Nothing profound. Fine lime-free sand would be immeasurably more useful if you
want to create a perfect habitat for them. They're expert burrowers and love to
dig into the sand. If you've got gravel, a bunch of leaves won't dramatically
change things for the better. Cheers, Neale.>
Dojo loach; pond use/sys.
Hello! Recently I have put my golden dojo loach in my outdoor pond and
he seems to be thriving! However, as fall approaches I am getting
concerned about if he can survive the winter.
<Does the water stay (get no colder than) the 50's F.? If not, I'd move
back into (at least a filtered aquarium) in the garage during winter>
My pond is divided up into three connecting ponds via very small
waterfalls. The third pond is the largest and deepest and houses many
goldfish and koi. I put my loach in the middle pond with is about 2 feet
deep. I have discovered that he can move between the two lower ponds as
he pleases and hope that he will chooses the bigger pond to winter in
because its 3 feet deep. My pond freezes at the surfaces every winter
despite the constant water flow.
<Oh; this is likely way too cold>
The goldfish and koi have survived every winter just fine, but my loach
has lived in my aquarium all it's life. I can catch him and return him
to my aquarium if I need to but he wasn't doing well in there which is
why I moved him outside to a more natural environment. In the tank he
was acting strangely, always propping himself up on plants near the
surface and never hiding. My other loach was also becoming deformed with
strange curves in his body.
<Common that these fish develop such...>
He has since died. So is it a good idea to leave him outside all winter,
or try to bring him in?
<Up to you; but I'd bring into the garage as stated>
If he can't stay out in the winter then I don't want to leave him in the
pond at all because finding a small fish in a big pond and catching it
is not easy.
<Ah, yes. Understood. Bob Fenner; who encourages you to read on WWM
including a piece I penned many years ago urging folks to (over) winter
their Weatherfish (way back when there were no flavistic varieties) in
Weather Loan <loach> biotope
I have made a mistake of attempting to keep a weather loan (Misgurnus
anguillicaudatus) with 4 dwarf puffers, even though I was not advised
to do so. At first puffers didn't bother the loach (he is about 5
inches, they are less than inch each) but within few weeks male started
picking on him and driving the loach to hide and come out to eat only
at night when puffers are asleep.
So I traded in the puffers and now hoping to establish a 20 gallon long
tank ( 30 inches) or a 30 gallon long (36 inches) around this loach,
particularly as a biotope.
Which is a problem, because even though in my home country weather
loaches are extremely common I never saw them in what I would call
"natural" environment. I grew up seeing this whiskery fish in
dirty ditches, swamps, inner-city ponds and even large puddles after
strong rain. I doubt loaches in the wild enjoy tank bottom of concrete
and dirt and therefore need an advise on what would be a suitable
biotope for a Misgurnus?
What would be good plants? (right now tank has Anubis, but that will be
soon moved to another tank, and not suitable for Asian biotope anyhow)
What would be good tankmates? How many loaches can I keep in 20
gallons? Would addition of Betta (male or female) be a good idea?
Smaller variety of goldfish? Paradise Fish? Gourami? Lalia?
<Hello Elena. Weather Loaches naturally come from streams where the
substrate is sandy (smooth silica sand, such as play sand and pool
filter sand) are typical. They will often bury themselves into this,
with only their head exposed above the sand. So an aquarium
"ideal" for Weather Loaches would have sand, smooth rocks
arranged to make some caves and other hiding places, and a few plants
around the edges. Use sturdy plants that won't be uprooted. Biotope
plants would include things like Vallisneria and Potamogeton that will
do well in, or prefer, unheated to subtropical aquaria (18 C is the
ideal temperature). Tankmates would need to be species that enjoy
similar water temperatures and don't mind a fairly open aquarium.
Good candidates include Minnows of all kinds (such as White Cloud
Mountain Minnows) and Bitterlings. If you can get them, fish such as
Crucian Carp and Tench. All these come from Eurasia so are more less
similar to what Weather Loaches live with in the wild. Standard (i.e.,
non-fancy) Goldfish also work well, but Goldfish are messy, and Loaches
like to dig, and the combination can be a very dirty aquarium! So if
you keep Loaches with Goldfish, they'll need a big aquarium and a
strong filter. Above all else, Weather Loaches enjoy the company of
their own kind, so keep at least two specimens for the most fun. If you
want to go with non-Eurasian tankmates, then anything that also enjoys
Subtropical conditions should do okay. Obvious options would be
Scleromystax barbatus (also known as Corydoras barbatus, the big and
beautiful "Bearded Corydoras"); the commonly Peppered
Corydoras, Corydoras paleatus; the subtropical cichlid Cichlasoma
portalegrense; and possibly Cave Tetras and Ameca splendens, though
both of these can be a little nippy, though nothing like as bad as
Dwarf Puffers. Paradisefish can work, but Paradisefish dislike strongly
flowing water and need lots of plants, so they're not ideal
companions. They're also aggressive bullies that mix poorly with
other fish. At 22 C you might add some low-end tropical species to the
mix such as Danios, Neon Tetras, Platies and Swordtails. Bettas and
other high-end tropical fish that need 25 C or higher won't work in
the long term. Cheers, Neale.>
Opps I forgot... Rocks, Dojo
I am terribly sorry to bother you again, I asked some questions earlier
but forgot to ask? If you see no problem in my keeping the dojo with
some new dojo tank mates will lava rocks be to abrasive and give them
some nasty scratches?
<Lava rock is abrasive and, despite the marketing, it does seem to
affect water chemistry. At the very least it gives the water a red tint
over time, and some aquarists have found that it slightly acidifies the
water as well.
I'm not wild about using lava rock in tanks with smooth-skinned
fish such as loaches, eels, pufferfish, etc. Visit your local garden
centre and pick up some "pond safe" rocks such as slate and
granite. Cobbles are great for a water-worn stream bed look, while
craggy granite chunks are good for taller, three-dimensional mountains
of rock. Cheers, Neale.>
Weather Loach, beh., sys., including
goldfish -- 04/07/09
Looking for your advise please.
Sometime ago, I adopted a friends fish as she was moving overseas. They
were added to my tank. There were 2 goldfish and 1 weather loach. I
already had shubunkin and a goldfish. At the time, I did not know what
the weather loach was, as my friend was told it was a Plec (I knew it
wasn't, as I have had these
before).I went into my local fish (expert), with a photograph, and he
advised me it was a weather loach. He also advised me to buy another
one, as they live better in pairs. I did this.
One of the loach is now swimming upside down(while turning, looks like
somersaults), and when resting, laying upside down.
<Mmm, well... some of this is natural>
After reading information about them, I understand erratic swimming can
be normal, but this sort of
behaviour is not normal for him.
<Yes... considered to be "living barometers"... Changes in
air pressure seem to trigger this sort of movements>
I am concerned he is unwell, as he seems to be resting more than usual.
All the other fish are doing well, and displaying no problems.
My tank is only 2ft*1ft*1ft I believe this is (12g(U.K)),
<Oooh, way too small for this many goldfishes>
and after reading many articles on the internet, I am led to believe
this is too small for weather loach.
<This loach can be crowded... is a facultative aerial respirator and
quite tolerant to metabolite accumulation, but yes... All need more
Unfortunately, I cannot accommodate a tank any bigger. do I need to
find another home for my weather loach, or can they live in tanks this
<I'd be doing a bit more reading. Here to start:
and the linked files above... Perhaps looking into trading some of the
goldfish out, now... at least investing in test kits and their use,
along with regular water changing... Bob Fenner>
Golden Dojo in a pond Hi, <Hello> I'm a little
confused about the difference (as far as temperature) between the
Spotted Dojo and the Golden Dojo. On your site it says "The
Spotted Dojo or Weatherfish is less tolerant to temperature change and
range", so that would mean that the Golden Dojo is MORE tolerant
of temperature change and range? <No, though Misgurnis
anguillicaudata is both the common and the xanthic variety of Dojo or
Weatherfish, the "normal" condition seems to be hardier>
My thinking is more used to goldfish, so I would think the fancier the
fish the less hardy they are. <You are correct> So I'm
guessing it's just a typo. <The Spotted Dojo is another
species... Cobitis taenia I believe> I just want to be prepared so
that when I go to get a couple Dojos if they happen to have a Golden
one I would like to get that for visibility. Also, I was wondering how
many would be good. I have a 1000 gallon pond with 18 fish (comets,
shubunkins, fantails, and a Sarasa) with 3 small koi about to join
them. I would definitely want to get at least 2, at most 4, but would 4
be too much? <Not too many> I'm also a little worried about
them getting out of the pond. I've read that they have a tendency
to jump out of aquariums and sometimes crawl on the floor. <Not
really a common problem in ponds> Any other tips for Dojos in ponds
would be appreciated. Thanks, Mike <Bob Fenner>
Looking for a Dojo Loach
I was considering a Dojo Loach (possibly gold) for a 29g and have seen
some widely ranging information on these in regards to their
size. I have seen postings stating their max aquarium size
anywhere from 15cm upwards of 20inches. In a
"typical" aquarium what size should I expect one of these to
grow, and would it outgrow a 29g and if so in how long? < Generally
Dojo's are bottom loving catfish that spend all their time sifting
through fine sand for something to eat. Fine well rounded sand is best
because coarse materials will be abrasive to the mouth and eyes. Go to
planetcatfish.com and see all the Dojo's that are out there. Many
species are referred to as Dojo's. Most in the hobby only get
around 8 inches while the gold variety is smaller around 4 inches.>
Also I have read that they like to burrow and bury
themselves. I am concerned about this as I have a crushed
coral substrate which would not be good. I read they like
sandy bottoms which would go with the burrowing. I do have
lots of cover and live plants so at least the layout should be
acceptable. < Fine sand is the only way to go or else you will
become an expert in wound control.-Chuck> Patrick